As Head of Race Strategy for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ Team, Bernadette Collins is concerned with only one thing: getting the best result possible. Ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season, we caught up with the strategy specialist as the team prepared for its all-important second season at the cutting edge of motorsport.
In her role in the thick of the action on the pit wall with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One™ Team, Collins is entirely focused on getting the best possible result. “Strategy concentrates on how to get the fastest race time and the best race result, while a lot of the other roles on the pit wall are looking at how to get the best car set-up to achieve the fastest lap or other distances.”
In order to achieve these goals, Collins and the strategy team need to factor in everything from the weather and wind speed to pit stops, tyres, safety cars and, of course, the competition. Now, as Formula 1 enters a brand-new season, with new regulations and new cars, Collins and the strategy team must do their best to work with an unfamiliar and largely unknown scenario. “The start of any new season is difficult, especially this one with the regulation changes — you're not quite sure of the running order of things. Compare that to the end of last season, when you’re heading out to race 22 and you're pretty clear where you’ll end up in qualifying, roughly what the race might look like and where your pit stops are going to be. Even after testing, race one is difficult because it’s the first time you see the cars running in a race setting. Until we find our feet, there’s going to be much more of that preparation required.”
Despite the uncertainty, Collins remains optimistic about the challenge that lies ahead, doing her best to predict what the start of the season might look like for the British manufacturer’s team. “In terms of this season, it would be great to roll out of the garage on race one with a competitive car that’s into Q3 and the middle of the points region. From my perspective, that would be a brilliant starting place for us.”
This story is an extract from an article featured in the AMXX issue of Aston Martin magazine, out now. If you're not already a subscriber, visit magazine.astonmartin.com/magazine-subscription so that you can read the full story.